I’m Jacob Manning – CFO of SuchCrowd and today I’m writing about what I’m calling Lean Event Theory;
Entrepreneurship has evolved over the past 15 years. Traditional business thinking of a start-up as a miniature big business has left most disciplines. In 2011 Eric Ries wrote The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Around the same time Ash Maurya looked at the idea of business plans and created innovative methods for entrepreneurs to use that are faster to adapt and focused on validating ideas rather than building products. This was primarily the lean canvas model.
Lean methodology is perhaps most prominently felt in the technology industry, where beta versions have become almost acceptable to sell and in gaming we see customers lining up to be the first to play with an unfinished product. This is not to say that the importance of quality is overlooked. Instead, it considers how the end product can be improved by having the customers engaging in the early stages of development. Entrepreneurs now work in the light, designing projects in collaboration rather than behind closed doors. Not only is it acceptable to get unfinished products to the customer to play with, but its expected in certain sectors and the involvement has value for the customer far beyond the traditional consumer model of ‘you make – I buy’.
And yet some sectors remain virtually untouched by this new way of operating. Take the event management space. Event planners and promoters alike spend countless hours planning an event before pushing it out to the public and hoping the tickets will sell. Lean events is way of applying lean business theory to event management. Don’t plan out the event to the end and then spend your dollars on marketing and promoting. Consider first what the event goer thinks! Looking at lean theory in business, it would be insane to produce a fully functional product without first validating that the customer will use it.
Lean events is about getting very early engagement about whether people will attend the event. By applying lean event theory we can anticipate similar benefits to what lean start-up theory has done for other industries. Firstly the financial and social risks decrease as you receive validation that your event is desirable. Most importantly, using the lean events methodology will result in a better end product (event) for the consumer. Events are all about having a great time, and what better way to make sure that event goers will attend the event than by asking them first.
The organisation I’m working with, SuchCrowd, is made up of a group of people passionate about small local artists and we have seen them struggling from time to time with their events. We asked fringe artists what their number 1 problem was, and they replied ticketing systems are too expensive and don’t work on small scale events. We examined this more, looking at different systems that could be used and digging deeper into the pain point or problem of the entertainer and what came out was surprising! The problem was around what entrepreneur would call a lack of ability to validate event ideas. Being unable to validate can mean an event idea is not something crowds want to attend, leading to financial and reputation damage from low attendance.
Our group has set out to empower the event planner and artist with tools that can easily gauged whether an event will be a success. We have built SuchCrowd, an easy and accurate way to validate an event idea. Passionate event goers ourselves, we want to see more creative and amazing events happen in a sustainable way by ensuring the crowd want it before spending time and money.